We just finished our series entitled “From This Day Forward.” Marriage is supposed to be a wonderful, lifetime relationship filled with joy and laughter. Marriage is anything but a breeze, however. There’s a reason the New York Times reported recently that there are fewer couples reaching their 25th wedding anniversary than at any other time in history. A commitment of ’til death do us part’ is far easier said at the altar than done in the everyday struggles of life, differing personalities and an ingrained desire for each of us to be number one.
My hope and prayer is that this series gave you some basic tools to improve your marriage or a relationship you may be in. I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on marriage, some of which I covered in the series and some of which I didn’t. Some things for you to ponder in no particular order:
- The greatest way to show love to my spouse is to imitate the way God has shown love toward me — unconditionally and sacrificially.
- Instead of praying “Lord, please change my spouse” a much more effective prayer through the years has been, “Lord, please change me.”
- Quality time cannot always be a replacement for quantity of time. In a marriage, you really need both.
- There is freedom in being able to forgive, even if your spouse has not yet said “I’m sorry.”
- To be a servant in marriage is to say, “I don’t deserve you” rather than the other way around.
- “Never let the sun go down on your anger” is much easier said than done. One must be deliberate and intentional to let things go before ending the day.
- “Love is blind” is not a bad thing when you choose to be blind to the less flattering traits of your spouse.
- God is the only one who can fulfill me at every level. Therefore, it is unfair for me to expect my spouse to be my all-in-all.
- A marriage does not rise and fall on how much we can trust a person, but on how much we can trust God.
- God is even more committed to my marriage than I am.
- Being a husband/wife is my most important ministry.
- Focusing each day on “making a memory” sure beats “keeping a record of wrongs.”
- The greatest (and most challenging) definition of marital love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:7: “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”